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Raphi Schuster
(RSchuster) - F

Locale: Washington
Food? on 06/04/2009 00:12:10 MDT Print View

What food do you guys use on weeklong 100 miler trips?

Im thinking that rice and beans would be fine everynight (except for such blandness) and oatmeal in the morning. It all stays packaged together, so its minimal garbage and is easy to bearbag.

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Food? on 06/04/2009 00:17:18 MDT Print View

I have a dehydrator and make meals such as Chilli Concarne, baked beans, rice with veg, basically anything you eat at home can be modified to suit. I have found its just he fatty foods that dont dehydrate well,

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Food? on 06/04/2009 00:18:25 MDT Print View

Im thinking that rice and beans would be fine everynight

Why not mix it up a bit? Lots of freeze dried options out there.

Raphi Schuster
(RSchuster) - F

Locale: Washington
Re: Food? on 06/04/2009 00:30:26 MDT Print View

Thanks guys. Mostly what you have mentioned, however, is rice or beans with a supplement. I'll bring some supplements along to add variety (and vegetables) to my meals.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: Food? on 06/04/2009 00:51:04 MDT Print View

I'm a simple guy so I just grab what's on the shelf...some curries, spaghetti, mac and cheese, thai noodles, even the bacon and eggs isn't bad. However, if you are really looking into options, you can go scroll down a bit and check out the "food" section, you'll see there are quite a few backcountry chefs amongst us. :)

There are even a few members who have published books on their recipes and you would be surprised what they can offer. Definitely worth checking out at the least.

Enjoy your trip!

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Food? on 06/05/2009 13:23:02 MDT Print View

"Im thinking that rice and beans would be fine everynight (except for such blandness) and oatmeal in the morning. It all stays packaged together, so its minimal garbage and is easy to bearbag."

How about varying it with dehydrated pea soup and mashed potatoes? Add in some olive oil and dry cheese for extra flavor and calories. A little 70% cacao chocolate for dessert and you're travelling in style. :)

John Taylor
(jtaylor) - F - M

Locale: Shenandoah
Some other alternatives on 06/09/2009 09:37:22 MDT Print View

Mashed potatoes, definitely. Have you considered Angel Hair pasta and Coscus? Both will cook in warm water, saving fuel, are lightweight, and can be very tasty with a little sauce. Add some olive oil, and the calories go up too.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
FBC on 06/09/2009 10:28:45 MDT Print View

It's called Freezer Bag Cooking.

Buy that book that Sarah Kirkonell (sp?) wrote and then go to to order supplies.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: FBC on 06/09/2009 11:26:30 MDT Print View

David, thank you :-) (Yeah, I had a hard to spell maiden name, then got an even bigger married name! Kirkconnell is it.)

Our website that covers Freezer Bag Cooking is (and to which our original website feeds into now.)

Check out the food section here! A number of us have posted lots of ideas, help and what works/doesn't.

An example of meals might be this photo from this morning - I am done with 10 days of dinners for my friends who are thru hiking the PCT this year. These meals are some of the most UL meals I have done. But also very high in protein and filling. I will be posting more on the blog when I get the new recipes entered in.


Jason Snyder
(jlsnyder) - F

Locale: Columbia Basin
Buy a dehydrator on 06/09/2009 13:48:16 MDT Print View

I have dehydrated stuff like taco soup, spaghetti, stir fry with reasonable success. It tasted good, and was easy.

For my oatmeal, I usually add some dehydrated milk and chopped almonds for extra calories/protein/flavor.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Which freezer bags? on 06/09/2009 14:07:54 MDT Print View


I notice you are using regular ziploc freezer bags (quart size?). I find that the ones from Packit Gourmet stand up nicely and are "boil safe." Do you use these?

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Which freezer bags? on 06/09/2009 16:21:34 MDT Print View

Yes, I love the ones that PIG carries. For T&T's thru-hike though they asked for standard bags - less weight/space. For myself though - I use the standup bags ;-)

Gregg Carsen
(chopper) - F
Food... on 06/17/2009 16:08:35 MDT Print View

I am in NO way a cook of any type. But just a few weeks ago i found that instant mashed potatoes with one of the instant gravy mixes at the grocery store sure tated great in the cold evening. Not sure of the nutrition value is what has me worried though. But next time i will be adding in some of that TVP material to add some potein. I used the mushroom gravy if anyone was curious.
I used the low sugar instant oatmeal last year and i might try it again as the cuscus was difficult to gag down for breakfast. And now i think i might even add some dehydrated strawbearies to my breakfast as well.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: Food? on 06/17/2009 17:01:11 MDT Print View

Gregg, I'd also recommend Sarah's book. After reading it and buying a food dehydrator I have not used a freeze dried meal since. I do a lot of experimenting, but there are a lot of ways to mix it up without adding weight.

* Rice + Dehydrated Red Beans + Dehydrated Hamburger + spices
* Rice + Just Veggies Mix + Dehydrated Chicken + Spices
* Ramen + Dehydrated Spaghetti Sauce + Dehydrated Onions/Peppers/Mushrooms + Dehydrated Hamburger
* plus tons from the book

Another website the is real good is


Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Mountain House Pro-pack on 06/17/2009 18:09:06 MDT Print View

Mountain House Pro-packs are easy to use and are easy to pack in a bear cannister. They come in a lot of varieties as well plus they taste pretty good.

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Sarah on Salt? on 06/17/2009 18:58:27 MDT Print View

Sarah K,
any commentary on why there seems to be so much sodium in commercially prepared dehydrated foods? Is it for preservation for long periods, taste, a combination or something else? Seems like every pack I look at has 75 - 125% of RDA Sodium.


James D Buch
(rocketman) - F

Locale: Midwest
Salt on 06/17/2009 19:28:20 MDT Print View

I'm not Sarah. However, you should open your eyes to ALL PREPARED FOOD, not just backpacking food.

If it is in a can, you can bet it is pretty salty.

If it is "flavored", you can bet it is pretty salty or high in Sodium.

For example, plain unflavored instant mashed potatoes have maybe 20 mg sodium. Buy some flavored instant mashed potatoes and the socium content soars to 400 to almost 800 mg per serving.

Unflavored instant rice has very low sodium, but if you get a Knorr flavored rice dish the sodium per serving jumps to 860 mg or 40% of RDA. The package contains 2.5 servings, and the typical backpacker will eat the whole thing or nearly 100% RDA.

Pasta unflavored is low sodium, but the Knorr flavored pasta in my hand has 820 mg sodium and that is nearly 40% RDA, and the backpacker who eats all 2.5 servings in a bag gets about 100% RDA right there.

If you get plain frozen vegetables with no flavoring, there is usually little sodium, but if you get that fake cheese sause or Asian seasoning, there is a giant jump to several hundred mg of sodium per serving.

Green beans in a can are horribly high in sodium. I don't have a can of that stuff for that reason, nor any cans of vegetables for similar reasons.

"On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee discusses this at length. There are several reasons for putting sodium in prepared foods - mostly for the benefit of the manufacturer or to make it tasty or texturally or visually appealing for the consumer.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Sarah on Salt? on 06/17/2009 22:30:06 MDT Print View

Mike, I have long felt that they use heavy sodium to cover up a lack of taste - of using bland food.

I cringe every time I watch Food Network and they say "Lets season it" and all they do is dump in tons of salt and a little pepper. That is SOOO not "seasoning"!

Thing is, there are brands out there with reasonable amounts - Mary Janes for example is decent.

Yet, the scary thing is that a 2 person MH meal is nearly always a one person meal - and some of those meals can contain 3,000 or more mg of sodium in the bag. That is just scary!

Personally I despise the fact that companies put SO much sodium in food, be it freeze dried or just stuff from the stores. It has been shown numerous times by our Gov't that you can remove up to 25% of the sodium in commercial food before the average consumer notices. But even then....a meal out in a restaurant can be entree with 2500 mg of sodium? Normal these days. We live in a county that requires chains with a certain number of venues to provide stats. Eek. Go eat at Applebee's and after reading the stats you will be eating a plain salad with no dressing. LOL! Some dinners have 4,000 mg of sodium.

Salt does preserve food....but in most cases it covers up lesser quality food :-(

This is why I make most of my meals at home for trips - I can control everything that goes in.

PS: Even freeze dried meat has does help with preservation there. And taste. But then, when I went low sodium I was shocked at just how sodium naturally occurs in meat!

Taylor Ginther
(Tippet) - F

Locale: San Diego
Freezer-bag cooking on 06/18/2009 00:25:26 MDT Print View

Sarah what was the manly-sounding name we came up with for your cozies? Anyway looking forward to trying out my custom unit next trip.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Freezer-bag cooking on 06/18/2009 09:01:02 MDT Print View

The Man Food Bag :-D